When Ed Westwick joined TikTok on Monday to reprise his role of Chuck Bass from Gossip Girl, his fans went bonkers.
In the short clip, the actor says “TikTok, tell me you’ve watched Gossip Girl without actually telling me you watch Gossip Girl. I’ll start.” He changes into a waistcoat and tie, gives the camera a smoldering look, and in his character’s iconic gravelly voice growls, “I’m Chuck Bass.”
The video quickly went viral, racking up more than three million views and commenters swooned over his looks, fangirled over his British accent, and pleaded, “Take me to your limo.”
But among the 225,000 (and counting) comments, there was scant mention of the four women who came forward to accuse Westwick of sexual assault in late 2017 and 2018. Three of the women claimed he raped them, and one said he pushed her onto a bed and “aggressively groped" her breasts.
A representative for Westwick did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Actress Kristina Cohen was the first to come forward, writing in a Facebook post that she had dinner at Westwick’s home in February 2014 with Australian film producer Kaine Harling, who she had dated in 2013. The night was running late so she went for a nap in the guest bedroom when she claims she was awakened by Westwick, who was on top of her and “his fingers entering my body.”
“I fought him off as hard as I could but he grabbed my face in his hands, shaking me, telling me he wanted to f--k me,” she wrote in November 2017. “I was paralyzed, terrified. I couldn’t speak, I could no longer move. He held me down and raped me.”
Days later, former actress and model Aurélie Wynn claimed that same year Westwick also raped her. “I said ‘no’ and he pushed me face down and was powerless under his weight,' Wynn wrote in a now-private Facebook post. “I was wearing a one piece bathing suit that he ripped. I was in complete shock.”
Creative producer Rachel Eck told BuzzFeed she was groped by Westwick on the night before the Academy Awards in 2014. She explained she was invited to hang out with the actor at the Sunset Marquis hotel by her ex-boyfriend Kaine Harling—the same man Cohen claims she was dating when she was allegedly raped by Westwick.
Eck claimed throughout the night Westwick “got more handsy,” attempting to kiss her and push her against the wall whenever Harling was out of sight. At one point, Westwick “pulled me onto the bed and aggressively groped me, I shoved him off as quickly as I could and left,” Eck said.
The final woman came forward a few months later in March 2018. Stylist Haley Freedman accused Westwick of raping her and filed a police report that contained medical information from her doctors related to the alleged assault, reported US Weekly.
Cohen, Wynn, Eck, and Freedman did not immediately respond to The Daily Beast’s requests for comment.
Westwick denied the accusations and even claimed to have never met one of his accusers in since-deleted posts. Still, he was dropped from his upcoming role in the BBC’s Agatha Christie TV drama Ordeal by Innocence, and filming on his sitcom White Gold was halted while the claims were investigated.
But the Los Angeles County District Attorney announced in the summer of 2018 it would not be pursuing charges due to “insufficient evidence,” “unavailability of the victim,” and some allegations being outside of “the statute of limitations.”
Westwick hasn’t exactly laid low since being accused. He resumed filming his sitcom, split with his model girlfriend Jessica Serfaty, began dating model Tamara Francesconi, boasted about new projects, and continued to post on Instagram frequently, oftentimes on pricey vacations to South Africa, Greece, and Italy.
But it seems he’s aiming for a true comeback, timing the joining of the popular app with the promotion of his new comedy-thriller film Me You Madness with actress Louise Linton, the wife of Steve Mnuchin, who served under former President Donald Trump as the U.S. Treasury secretary.
When Linton cast Westwick, he had already been accused of sex assault by two women. But Linton, who makes her directorial debut in the campy film, admitted the accusations didn’t do much to faze her.
“If a great idea comes into my mind, I’m not going to worry about people pleasing,” she told Los Angeles magazine in 2019. “I expect that some people will denounce me for casting him. All I can say is that I fervently support the long overdue MeToo and Time’s Up movements and applaud all women courageous enough to come forward.
“But I also believe we’re all entitled to due process. [The allegations against] Ed were investigated and dropped. Just as we shouldn’t jail an innocent man for crimes he didn’t commit, we shouldn’t torpedo a person’s career for unsubstantiated charges.”
Me You Madness is set to be released on Friday and will be available to download on platforms such as iTunes, Amazon, and Fandango for $9.99.